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Nick Wakeman

Don't let sequestration blind you

In the last six months, I’ve had countless conversations about sequestration, procurement problems and the general dire straits of the contracting world.

I’ve had many industry veterans say that the market is the worst they’ve seen.

The angst is understandable. The market went through a period of unprecedented growth, followed by a near slamming of the brakes. Whiplash is to be expected.

The growth was unsustainable, and that is something I wish I had recognized at the time. Perhaps I could have given voice to some reservations.

But the party ended in 2008, and it is time to shake off the hangover.

Of course, there is the problem of sequestration, but I’m convinced it’s a short-term problem.

Yes, it is a huge issue and is fodder for lots of rhetoric, but once it is solved – and it will get solved -- will there be a lingering impact? I don’t think so.

If sequestration happens, of course, it’s a whole new ballgame. But again, I think the impact will be short term. The overall market is expected to return to growth after 2014.

The bigger threat might be that sequestration becomes a regular tool for governing. Pick your cliché, the cat is out of the bag; Pandora’s box has been opened; you can’t unring a bell.

But I’m too much of an optimist to believe that sequestration will happen. We’ll get awfully close, but six months from now, this will all be over. That’s my prediction.

In the meantime, shake it off. Don’t focus on the uncertainties. Focus on what you are certain of – the mission of your customers.

No budget cut is going to erase that mission, so whatever moves you make during these dark days, always ask how it relates to the mission. If you can answer that question, you should have some confidence that you are making the right decisions.

 

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Oct 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM


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